4. Haemorrhagic infarct of the small intestine

Page created on September 23, 2018. Last updated on January 17, 2019 at 16:11

Organ: Small intestine


The description is simple. You can see a small part of the small intestine. The infarcted part is blackish and distended, meaning that the diameter of the lumen is increased.

Diagnosis: Haemorrhagic infarct of the small intestine


  • Thrombus in mesenteric artery
  • Occlusion of portal vein by thrombus, embolus and/or atherosclerotic plaque.
  • Incarcerated hernia
  • Volvulus
  • Invagination
  • Strangulation


If the portal vein is occluded for any reason, there can theoretically be infarct from the stomach (rare) to and including the superior third of the rectum.

The infarct is haemorrhagic because of the rich blood supply of the GI tract due to its many anastomoses between the two mesenteric arteries. Another contributing cause to who it is haemorrhagic is because there is almost always venous backflow from the portal vein. This backflow can be caused by cardiac failure and any kind of liver disease.

Bowel infarcts are always haemorrhagic.

See theory topic 4.

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